The Burning Peppermints, Blackfoot Gypsies, The Moonshine
Thu · May 30, 2019
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
Rooftop @ Georgia Theatre
Tickets at the Door
This event is 18 and overhttp://www.georgiatheatre.com/event/1847093/
Jake Wittig’s workhorse guitars are laden with fuzz, and alternate between groove-heavy riffs and devastating chords in tandem with rhythm agent Ahmad Farzad. Wittig’s tonal dynamics recall the monstrous crunch of Thee Oh Sees’ John Dwyer, while vocals suggest the manic charisma of Ty Segall.
Farzad administers bass and baritone via guitar, allowing him a sweeping range of unfathomable low registers and sharp, cutting notes. Daniel Powers’ keys provide a fluid layer of retro character and synth effects, from moody drones to siren calls. Ryan Colebeck holds the entire volatile ensemble together with airtight percussion.
The Burning Peppermints formed in 2012, after Wittig began jamming on garage rock tunes with an abandoned drum kit. Lineups changed and styles evolved over time, and the Peppermints gigged relentlessly throughout the erupting music scene in Birmingham, Alabama. The band quickly earned an enthusiastic following, playing in alleyways, breweries, and lately working their way into genre-defying music festivals.
The group has shared the stage with touring acts like The Dirty Lungs, Diarrhea Planet, and St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and have developed a reputation for their genuine intensity. The Burning Peppermints put on a viciously engaging show, and audiences can’t help but move to the driving sounds generated by the frenzied band.
“If a band is just going to play their music for an audience and not perform the hell out of it and try to connect with them, then you might as well just plug someone’s iPod into the venue’s PA and everyone can just sit and listen to it together,” says Wittig.
While composure is ripped away on stage, the musicianship never fails- It takes over. Many artists explain that their instruments are an extension of themselves, but The Burning Peppermints are clearly the mortal conduits of a wild and instinctive sonic force.
Their powerhouse sound was captured on their first album, the live-recorded Dirty Rainbow, and will be expounded upon in the upcoming Witch Mountain.
Across the 15 tracks of To the Top, the Blackfoot Gypsies fuse their influences -- swamp blues cool, downhome hillbilly funk and homegrown punk panache -- into a lean, mean machine invoking such classic musical malcontents as the Rolling Stones, the Faces and Mott the Hoople, while sparking and spitting 21st-century fire. It's the type of record that could only come from a band that learned to rock the old-fashioned way -- one sweaty, full-throttle live performance at a time.
The band's brew of rock, hillbilly and blues began in 2010 when Oregon native, guitarist and singer Matthew Paige moved to Nashville and hooked up with drummer and Music City native Zach Murphy. The pair wanted to form a full band, but the urge to rock could not wait.
"We were doing just what we wanted to do," Paige says, "but making enough noise to fill out the sound was a challenge. I started playing through two amps to make the most sound."
The pair spent the next two years building a reputation through raucous live performances and two self-released EPs, Blackfoot Gypsies (2010) and Dandee Cheeseball (2011), and their first LP, On the Loose (2012). Hard touring followed the album's release as the duo bashed across the US through hard-won club dates. After three years, they were ready to expand their sound.
"There's really only so much you can do with a two-piece," Murphy says. "You have to do everything in extreme. I think we were too much for some people -- just a violent onslaught of noise."
They soon completed their expanded line-up when bass player Dylan Whitlow and harmonica master extraordinaire Ollie Dogg arrived within weeks of each other. Whitlow, a Gettysburg, Pennsylvania native and a veteran of several Nashville rock bands, had crossed paths with Paige and Murphy before, but Nashville native Ollie Dogg was new to the rock 'n' roll scene. He was a longtime veteran of Nashville's blues community and a regular at many blues jams, but joining a band full time was a new experience.
"My cousin told me about the band," Ollie Dogg says. "I met them a couple of weeks later, and played with them. They just told me to be loose. That's how I like to play, loose -- just take it and make it work. I've been playing with them ever since."
With the line-up complete, they entered the studio and laid down ten tracks of butt-shakin' country-blues rock. Released in April 2015 by Plowboy Records, Handle It delivered a mix of juke joint blues, front porch pickin' and snotty-nosed rock 'n' roll, positioning the group as inheritors of a fine pedigree, from Bo Diddley to the Black Crowes. Long nights tearing up the road followed as the band shared bills with the Alabama Shakes, Drivin' N' Cryin', the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Trampled by Turtles and many others. They toured throughout the US and wowed European audiences on their first international tour.
After sharpening their sound through hundreds of live performances, the band headed for Electric Kite Studio in Madison, Tennessee. Working with engineer Matt Stager and armed with 15 original tunes, the Blackfoot Gypsies self- produced their new album, To the Top. They also recruited some notable musical assistance from some of Nashville's finest musicians, including backup vocals from red-hot country queen Margo Price, Spencer Cullum, Jr. (Steelism) on steel guitar, Micah Hulscher on piano, Alexis Saski on background vocals, Taylor Powell and Shannon Pollard assisting on drums, and Paul Thacker, Diego Vasquez and Joe Hunter supplying horn section support. The album was mixed by Joe Funderburk at Creative Workshop.
To the Top wastes no time making it perfectly clear that the Blackfoot Gypsies are locked and loaded to rock. The album opens with a powerful statement of purpose in a trio of pedal-to-the-metal rockers. "I'm So Blue," "Everybody's Watching" and "Promise to Keep" all roar with an explosive energy worthy of the early ' 70s Rolling Stones or the Faces, while demonstrating that the Blackfoot Gypsies wear their inspirations on their sleeves without falling into the trap of pointless imitation.
The band slows things down a bit with "Potatoes and Whiskey," a rough -- cut slice of honky-tonk featuring Margo Price on backing vocals. Next they hop on a sanctified express train for the balling-the-jack anthem "I Had a Vision," followed by the Big Easy groove of "Back to New Orleans," a song perfect for second-line dancing anytime or anyplace.
Hitting their stride midway through the record, the Blackfoot Gypsies alternate rockers ("Lying Through Your Teeth," "I Wanna Be Famous," "She Was Mine" and "Warning") with songs demonstrating the band's versatility, with the hillbilly swing of "Velvet Low Down Blues," the Dylan-esque country ruckus of "Woman Woman" and the sublime juke joint jam of "I Got the Blues."
Wrapping up with the primal kick and Bo Diddley beat of "Gypsy Queen" and the lightly glam-seasoned back-to-basics haymaker "Why Should I Cry," the disc is a complex and masterful blend of rock, blues and hillbilly stomp sure to please the most discriminating palate and send the most reluctant feet to the dance floor.
Lineup can vary according to needs and budget. Base lineup is Michael, Rachael, and Rob.
The Moonshine have multiple fiddle players to play with and can bring banjo into the mix as well.
Michael Gerard: Vocals, guitar, songwriting, whistles, effervescence
Rachael Renee': Vocals, harmonies, autoharp, mandolin, guitar, keys, shoutouts
Rob Keller: Harmonies, upright bass, slaps, zingers
J Elwood Johncox: Harmonies, upright bass, mouth percussion, shaker
Nicholas Lindell: Fiddle, viola
Susanna Low-Beer: Harmonies, fiddle, viola, train whistle, puns
Maxwell Countryman Skewes: Banjo, sassy jokes, slick moves
Rooftop @ Georgia Theatre
215 N. Lumpkin St
Athens, GA, 30601